Youths decry inadequate funding to AIDS activities

Although Uganda is grappling with Covid-19 pandemic, youth have decried increased cases of HIV/AIDS spread during COVID-19 season.

Under their umbrella organisation, Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA), youths want the Ugandan Government to allocate resources towards AIDS treatment and care services.

“We beg government to invest more into youths-led programmes like HIV intervention. We acknowledge Ministry of Health drive to curb the COVID-19 pandemic but should not forget AIDS is still with us. The lockdown has hindered provision of HIV services in society, “Ruth Awori programme Manager said.

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UNYPA is a youth led organisation with a membership of 50,000 young people countrywide with mission of creating an enabling environment for all Young people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

The appeal was made at the launch of Y Plus beauty pageant under the theme: Opening opportunities at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Y plus pageant is an annual campaign aimed at stigma and discrimination as well as addressing the structural drivers of gender based violence and other HIV/SRHR related issues against young people living with and affected by a HIV/AIDS.

“Y plus beauty pageant addresses both self stigma faced by young people living with HIV and community stigma driven by the environment towards uplifting their plight and harnessing the power of empowered youth Hiv activism,” Awori explained.

She stressed that theme: Opening opportunities seeks to utilize the available opportunities to create new innovations for the young people living with HIV where they can be able to access Hiv sexual reproductive health right services, create extra seats for them on forums to front issues that are affecting them as well as brain storm ways of creating an enabling environment and safe spaces in Uganda.

UNYPA started in 2003 to provide leadership and coordinate the greater and meaningful involvement and participation of YPLHIV in Uganda in the national, regional and global HIV and AIDS response. UNYPA advocates improving the quality of life of young people living with HIV in Uganda and as a network. UNYPA is driven by the needs of young people living with HIV and implements an evidence informed national programme and advocacy for YPLHIV to lead healthy and productive lives.